Yesterday, I was going through some old letters from my mom. (I moved back and forth between my mom and dad growing up, long distances.) Of course, my dad never wrote while I was away, but my mom did.
There were so many beside-the-point kinds of things in the letters that caught my mind and brought back a flood of memories. She always sent me care packages with little things; a heating pad for my headaches (which later turned out to be migraines), a little heart-shaped music box with a humming bird on top (I love humming birds), and potpourri candles (I still remember what they smelled like). I still have most of the items she sent me, but I probably would have forgotten where they came from if not for the letters.
I’ve been able to give my boys a lot of the things I never had growing up, like an intact family. I’m glad that they’ve never known what it’s like to go a year without seeing their mother. The drawback is that they won’t have as many letters to hold on to over the years. Like little treasures of paper hope tucked quietly away in dresser drawers.
But they will have my diary, made up mostly of letters addressed to them. I started the diary around the time I met my husband, and the year my boys were born, he got me a beautiful diary with a wooden cover. I started using it to write letters to my boys, I’m ashamed to say, out of fear that I might die and they wouldn’t remember me (there was no real reason for that fear, it’s not like I was sick or anything).
Anyway, I often go a year or more without writing in the diary, but I got it out last night after reading my mom’s letters to me, and I wrote to my boys. The brevity of our temporal lives weighs on my mind still, but I am comforted somewhat when I create my own little treasures of paper hope.